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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Time

Just for fun--or because I'm a masochist and don't realize it--I took my day and broke down where the hours go. Wow, talk about scary. Or maybe eye opening. Eek.

I started with 24 hours and subtracting sleeping time first. Usually, I only get about 6 hours of sleep a night, but every week I get exhausted enough to do catch 8 hours. I decided to use 7 hours as my average amount of sleep. Next I subtracted the number of hours I'm at the Evil Day Job (EDJ), the time I spend commuting to and from the EDJ, and the time spent getting ready for the EDJ. I subtracted time for all the things that are on the required to do every day list.

The grand total of hours left for writing was small. Very small. And that's on a day where I don't have to run any errands or deal with something unexpected, and we all know how often the unexpected arrives--like several times a week. And if I have to get something together for my publisher or my agent, that erodes what little time there is.

What was the grand total? On a good day, I have 2-3 hours "free" to write. That's it. No wonder I'm always stressed and drinking coffee to stay awake long enough to get things done. This seriously isn't much time, especially since I'm a slower writer.

It's only slightly better on the weekends because I need to catch up on the sleep, clean house, do laundry, do yard work, run errands that I didn't do during the week, if the car needs to be serviced or my hair needs to be cut, that's a weekend thing. My RWA chapter meets once a month on Saturday. This fall I have to stain my deck and I have boxes in my garage that need to be broken down to be recycled--they've been there 18 months now, but it's either been winter (and too cold to spend time in the garage) or I've been busy.

After doing the math, I'm actually shocked I get as much written as I do because there is very little time for it once the "must do's" are subtracted from the day. Ouch!

Because of this lack of time, I've gotten to the point where I guard what time I do have. It's precious. Learning to say no was really hard for me and I still hate doing it, but as tight as I'm scheduled every day, I had to learn. I seriously want some clones. One to send to the EDJ, one to do housework, one to... Well, you get the idea.